THE countdown for the 30th Olympic Games that will be held in London has begun. Along with the recently completed European football championships in Poland and Ukraine, 2012 is a major year for sports.
To experience the exhilaration of these live competitive events and to support their national teams, millions of people will flock to these events, excited with anticipation and good cheer.
This month, Discovery Channel sheds light on how the anticipation for the games can be marred by concerns that a major terrorist threat could turn a celebration of human achievement into a nightmare.
Learning from past experience, Sport Under Threat reveals how organisers of sporting events handle the increased risk of terrorist activity, and what security measures are being taken at the 2012 London Games.
With vast crowds, countless news reel cameras and worldwide press coverage, leading athletes are made household names. But with the accolades come the unwelcome attention of those who choose to use sport for their political ends. Now, the Olympic Games stand at the mercy of anyone with an axe to grind, grimaces to air, or points to prove.
From the 1972 Munich Games, where a terrorist group took an athletic team hostage, to the Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12, where the race was halted in the middle of the Indian Ocean due to the pirate-infested waters, the programme draws from an archive of past events that show how, more than ever before, sport is no longer unaffected by political, criminal or military matters.
Interviews with members of the International Olympic Committee and security officials are also featured, including with chief executive officer of the London organising committee, Paul Deighton, senior analyst at London’s security specialists Control Risks David Lea, and Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Chris Allison.
Sport Under Threat premieres on Discovery Channel (Astro Channel 551) on July 15, at 9pm. Repeats on July 16 at 8am and 2pm and on July 21 at 11am.y